DC PUBWATCH: August 2021 Edition

DC Pubwatch - October

Here in the great white north, it is hot and humid this August, so I hope that you are able to keep cool this summer. I already told you that The Dreaming: Waking Hours #12 is my top pick of the month, and why, and sadly, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow remains my bottom pick of the month. All that, plus some big news about Tim Drake.

The News

This was definitely the news heaviest month for DC in a while. First off, Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee and general manager Daniel Cherry III had a fantastic interview in which they talked about the future of the company and the steps they’re taking to make sure DC remains viable for decades to come. One thing that Cherry said will become clearer in later news this month.

“There are a lot of young fans who don’t have a history of going to comic book shops so how to meet them where they are? How do you build that bridge? It may be with content that is easiest to find, which is on their phone.”

The second big news item is that James Tynion IV is not renewing his DC contract, and his Batman run will end with issue #117 in November, with his Joker run continuing a few more months. The Nice House on the Lake will finish its twelve-issue commitment before Tynion moves most of his content to Substack. I’ll miss his DC work, but I’m excited to see his new creator-owned work.

In Batman: Urban Legends #6, Tim Drake came out as queer. More on that below.

Finally calling back to Cherry’s comment about meeting readers where they’re at, DC announced a partnership with Webtoon to utilize that platform to make new content for new readers, and also to utilize Webtoon’s talent to make these comics. This is huge and will be great for DC to get their characters into more readers’ hands.

Highlights

The Dreaming: Waking Hours #12
Simon Bowland (letters), Matheus Lopes (colors), Nick Robles (art), Marguerite Sauvage (cover), G. Willow Wilson (writer)

Heather After, Ruin and Jophiel triumphantly walking in front of a looming Titania, Dream and Auberon on the cover of The Dreaming: Waking Hours #12 by Marguerite Sauvage

I still can’t stress enough how much I love this book.

Grade: A+

Batman: Urban Legends #6
Pat Brosseau (letters), Meghan Fitzmartin (writer), Belén Ortega (artist), Alejandro Sanchez (colors)

Batman and Robin, happy, behind Batman fighting Red Hood

Tim Drake is finally, undeniably, textually queer. After decades of subtext, he’s climbed out of the closet. As someone who has recently read every single Tim Drake appearance (when I commit, I commit), this is not a shock. The subtext has always been there, whether it’s the feelings of self-doubt, the admiration of Dick Grayson, and the way his closest friendships (Ives, Bernard, Kon) have always been written. (I also make the case that Tim Drake is actually a closeted trans woman, but that’s not relevant to this conversation. But the only time I’ve seen someone as uncomfortable in a suit as Tim is the occasions when I saw myself in the mirror when I was required to wear one). Anyway, this story was a fantastic three-part journey of self-discovery, and while it felt like it was heading this way from the first part, I’m still very happy that DC actually pulled the trigger on this, especially as Tim Drake makes his first live-action appearance on Titans.

Grade: A

Superman: Red & Blue #6
Sophie Campbell (art and writer), Mike Norton (art), Rex Ogle (writer), Evan “Doc” Shaner (cover), Steve Wands (letters)

The Superman family (ALL OF THEM) flying towards the sky, while Superamn invites you to fly with them

Superman: Red & Blue has been an immensely fun series, that has allowed a lot of creators to take a swing at Superman and related characters that might not ever get the chance to write one of the two main titles. The whole series has been a delight, but for the purposes of this capsule review, I’m focused on the first and last story in this issue.

The first is “Hissy Fit” by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles writer and artist Sophie Campbell. Sophie’s art is delightful, and the story focuses on Streaky the Supercat who is rarely seen these days. It’s moving day at the Fortress of Solitude, and Streaky freaks out when he sees his cat carrier and a rampage ensues. It’s fun and kinetic and the limited color palette is amazing in delivering the story.

The last is “Ally” by Rex Ogle and Mike Norton, and lettered by Steve Wands. This one hit me hard because it touched on something directly that I wrote about regarding Superman’s identity revelation. I compared Superman’s reveal to someone coming out, and that’s what this story also does. But this is an in-universe example of the importance of that moment, and how it inspires a gay teenager to live his own truth. The final two pages of the final story in the final issue break the rules of the limited color, and I feel like that’s earned, as it’s the coming-out moment and it breathes both color and new life into the kid who is now going to live truthfully.

Grade: A

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #3
Clayton Cowles (letters), Bilquis Evely (art and cover), Tom King (writer), Mat Lopes (colors and cover)

 

This time around it’s Tom King tries to explain racism to children. You know, the children who are reading a book where Supergirl swears like a sailor, drinks like one too and does drugs. Those kids. King’s metaphor is wildly hamfisted and over the top. The blues discriminate against the purples and then paid to have them genocided. So subtle. But the Evely art is still fantastic, and there’s also a beautiful cover by David Mack, that I’m including purely for Wendy’s benefit. [Editor’s note: Thank you, Cori. ILU — WB]

Grade: F

Grades

A+

The Dreaming: Waking Hours #12

A

Batman ’89 #1
Batman #111
Batman: Urban Legends #6
Batman/Superman #21
Catwoman #34
Crush & Lobo #3
Infinite Frontier #4
Infinite Frontier #5
Nightwing #83
Robin #5
Static: Season One #3
Suicide Squad #6
Superman ’78 #1
Superman and the Authority #2
Superman Red & Blue #6
The Nice House on the Lake #3
The Swamp Thing #6

B

Action Comics #1034
Aquaman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1
Batman and Robin…and Howard/Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld Special Edition Flipbook (FCBD) #1
Batman Secret Files: Clownhunter #1
Batman Special Edition (FCBD) #1
Batman: Fear State: Alpha #1
Batman/Superman 2021 Annual #1
Crime Syndicate #6
DC Horror Presents: The Conjuring: The Lover #3
Detective Comics #1041
Detective Comics #1042
Future State: Gotham #4
Hardware: Season One #1
Harley Quinn #6
Harley Quinn 2021 Annual #1
I Am Batman #0
Icon & Rocket: Season One #2
Justice League Infinity #2
Midnighter 2021 Annual #1
Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #4
Pennyworth #1
Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven Special Edition (FCBD) #1
The Flash #773
The Joker #6
Wonder Woman #777

C

Wonder Woman #778
Batman: Reptilian #3
Checkmate #3
Justice League #66
Justice League: Last Ride #4
Shazam! #2
Suicide Squad Special Edition (FCBD) #1
Superman: Son of Kal-El #2
Wonder Girl #3
Wonder Woman Black & Gold #3

D

Batman/Catwoman #7
Green Lantern #5
Rorschach #11
Suicide Squad: Get Joker #1
Superman vs. Lobo #1
Teen Titans Academy #6

F

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #3

Solicitation Situation

Batman #117

  • Written by JAMES TYNION IV
  • Art and cover by JORGE JIMENEZ
  • Backup written by BECKY CLOONAN
    and MICHAEL W. CONRAD
  • Backup art by JORGE CORONA
  • $4.99 US | 40 PAGES
  • Variant by JORGE MOLINA
  • 1:25 “retro gamer” variant cover by ROSE BESCH
  • $5.99 US (Card stock)
  • ON SALE 11/16/21
  • As the full scope of the Scarecrow’s plans is revealed, a bloodied Dark Knight fights for his life, and all the lives in Gotham City, against an unrelenting, unstoppable opponent. The shocking conclusion to “Fear State” is here…Will Batman ever be the same?
  • Backup: After what happened in the Magistrate’s Skybase-01, nowhere is safe, and the Batgirls hide out in a hotel room until Babs arrives offering a plan for their future. Seer, the “Anti-Oracle,” is revealed here! And who they are will make you question everything you see moving forward in Gotham…

 

Peacekeeper-01, Scarecrow and Poison Ivy lunging towards the left of the page in front of Simon Saint's portrait

The final issue of James Tynion IV’s Batman. Sad to see it end, and I hope whoever follows him keeps the line going as good as it has been.

Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant #1

  • Written by Danny DEVito, Wes Craig, G. Willow Wilson, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Joshua Williamson, Stephanie Phillips, Dan Watters, and Mairghread Scott
  • Art by Dan Mora, Wes Craig, Emma Rios, Riccardo Federici, MAX RAYNOR, Max Fiumara, Skylar Patridge, Ariela Kristantina, Khary Randolph, Jill Thompson, Christian Ward, Gabriel Walta, and others
  • Cover by Lee Bermejo
  • Variants by Frank Quitely, Wes Craig, Riccardo Federici, DAN MORA, and MAURGERITE SAUVAGE
  • 1:25 variant by Francesco Mattina, 1:50 variant by Chris Burnham
  • $9.99 US | 96 PAGES | PRESTIGE | $10.99 US VARIANTS (Card stock)
  • ON SALE 11/30/21
  • Gotham City may be protected by the Dark Knight, but this major metropolitan destination is also plagued by some of the deadliest, most nefarious villains in the DC Universe! In this oversize anniversary giant, DC Comics proudly presents tales of Batman’s deadliest foes written and drawn by some of the biggest, most exciting names in comics! 2021 marks an anniversary year for the Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Ra’s al Ghul, Talia al Ghul, the Mad Hatter, Killer Moth, and the original Red Hood, and Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant #1 brings these baddies to life in some big ways! Also featuring the anniversary celebration of the Penguin, written by none other than the man who brought Oswald Cobblepot to life in Batman Returns, star of the silver screen Danny DeVito!

Batman's rogues gallery shrouded in shadow

 DANNY FREAKING DEVITO WRITING PENGUIN COME ONNNNNNNNNNNNN

That’s the end of The Dreaming for now, and also the August Pubwatch. Willing to bet that The Nice House on the Lake will reclaim the top spot next month, but we shall see.

Cori McCreery

Cori McCreery

Cori is a life long comic nerd residing in Northern California. A life long Supergirl and DC Comics fan, she is the DC Comics Beat Reporter for Women Write About Comics.

2 thoughts on “DC PUBWATCH: August 2021 Edition

  1. I know I’m a broken record at this point, but it never stops being warranted: GO AWAY ALREADY, KING. Go away, AND NEVER COME BAcK.

    1. I can’t wait for Bilquis Evely to be able to work with someone other than Tom King. How did someone as skilled as her end up on a title with him?

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